Obviously I added to my last post that I hoped to write more regularly with updates about Oscar and his development, but the time has just flown by and now, somehow, the little tiny baby I brought home from hospital has turned into a fully fledged two year old toddler with no new posts from me!
(Oscar aged 19-24 months)
Oscar’s routine has changed somewhat since the eighteen month mark. The most noticeable area being bedtime. We went through a really tough time a few months back where Oscar just would not go to sleep in the evenings and did everything he could to avoid it. It was such a big hit for us to take as he had always been so good at going down to bed on his own before. To go from that to either Dan or I still being up with Oscar close to midnight on some evenings, leaving no time for us as a couple or just time to ourselves was very, very hard. We made several changes to his bedtime routine to try and resolve the situation at 19-20ish months; We bravely took the sides off from Oscar’s cot, lowering the mattress and turning it into a toddler bed and we also attempted to drop his nap. Although not yet perfect, things have improved somewhat and his routine is usually similar to that below.
7am – Oscar wakes, usually by walking through into our room with a book in his hand and asking to be read to. It makes me melt every time he comes through in the morning and lifts up his arms to be picked up and placed down between Dan and I for a snuggly reading of his book. He went through a phase of looking at Dan and saying “Daddy!”, turning to me, “Mummy!” and then pointing to himself “…and Oscar!” It was very cute.
Once I have read his book Oscar and I head downstairs for breakfast. Oscar sits up on the windowsill over our kitchen worktop with a banana whilst I prepare something for him to eat. His favourites at the moment are Weetabix with kiwi and peanut butter on toast. He also asks for a ‘peanut butter thumb’! If he doesn’t have cereal, I also pour him a cup of milk but if he has cereal, I offer him water instead.
We usually attend an activity at least three mornings a week (Rhyme Time, messy play, swimming lessons or a playdate with a friend.) Oscar adores any organised activity and his confidence has grown so much during these past few months. As long as he knows what he is supposed to be doing and he knows that I am still nearby he happily stands directly in front of the group leader enthusiastically taking part with all the actions and words asked of him!
On the days we stay at home Oscar plays with his toys in the lounge. Trains and dinosaurs are his favourite and he will sit and draw for hours if given the chance.
Oscar will have a snack mid-morning. Usually breadsticks, a chunk of cheese, a cracker or some raisins.
Lunch is around midday. It is usually a sandwich/wrap/scone and a yoghurt. I try and include some avocado or a pear on the side as these are Oscar’s favourite fruit and veg items at the moment (apart from bananas of course!) and ones I know that he will eat. His tastes have changed dramatically lately and he is not as good at eating his vegetables as he once was.
Although we’ve tried to drop Oscar’s nap to help improve bedtime, this isn’t always a success and some days there is nothing we can do to keep him awake, particularly if he has had a busy morning rushing around with other toddlers. On these days I try and catch up with some cleaning but also make a bit of time for me to have a break as well, knowing that I may be up until midnight trying to get him down to sleep.
Usually though, we can bypass the nap now and Oscar enjoys playing outside with a football, or we head out to the park. He adores helping me make dinner in the late afternoon and stirring ingredients in a bowl or putting the vegetables into the saucepan to boil.
I try to have dinner with Oscar around 5:30-6pm. We’ve moved this back slightly over the past few months. If I am training in an evening I am unable to have my dinner before heading out for a session as it just doesn’t agree with my body. Dan returns home from work around 6:15-6:20pm most evenings so starting dinner a little bit later means that I can pick at my tea next to Oscar and Dan can join us at the table to eat his when he arrives home, allowing me to leave for my run and finish my dinner on my return.
Oscar still prefers all-in-one meals to dishes with separated foods, although I try to mix things up and he is always given a selection of what we have on our plates, even if I am sure that he won’t eat it. He now asks for a knife along with his fork and has become more and more independent when it comes to eating on his own.
I like Oscar to have a bit of a mad run around in the evening and we often have ‘races’ from the kitchen to the stairs or we spend time putting together a ‘dance routine’ where either Oscar or I shout out instructions such as ‘crawl backwards’, or ‘spin in a circle’ and then we both follow through with the actions.
His bedtime routine starts around 8pm. Quite late, but any earlier becomes soul destroying for all involved. Dan is usually in charge of bedtime and after bringing Oscar over to me for a kiss, he then takes him upstairs with a cup of milk. Oscar sits on a large blue pillow beside his bed to drink the milk, which is then swapped for his toothbrush when he has finished. Oscar knows this routine and can repeat it to you step by step if you were to ask him. When done brushing his teeth, Oscar lays onto the pillow and Dan reads him three books, always finishing with the same one.
The idea is that Oscar then climbs into his bed and goes to sleep. Sometimes this happens, sometimes Oscar asks for more books and gets upset when he doesn’t get them and sometimes Oscar climbs into bed and tries really hard to fall asleep (shutting his eyes and going quiet) but just isn’t tired enough and so ends up fidgety and frustrated. Usually whoever has put him to bed emerges downstairs by 9pm, but like I’ve said, this can drag on for much longer some nights.
I stopped breastfeeding Oscar around 21 months old. There were several days in a row where he just hadn’t asked for any and so we decided to phase it out. A few times during the fortnight which followed he would ask for ‘Mummy milk’ and I would explain to him that I could get him a cup of milk, but that he hadn’t been having Mummy milk for a little while now, so there wasn’t really any left. He quickly accepted the cuddle and cup of milk without tears, and I wasn’t as sad about giving up our feeding time as I originally thought I might be. We were both ready.
Oscar is in a size 2-3 clothes, and a size 6H shoe. He can just about still squeeze into his size 6 wellies, but I will look for a size bigger next week, ready for all the puddles that I know will be coming our way soon!
He finally began jumping earlier this month and although he still doesn’t leave the floor by much, both feet definitely leave the ground at the same time now. Before if you asked him to jump he would just bob up and down, thinking that he was jumping!
His speech has come on fantastically and everybody we meet comments on how well he can communicate. He regularly puts together more than 10 words to form a sentence and his speech is so clear. Walking home from nursery last week I asked him how his day had been and who he had played with. He told me ‘Oscar play with Hadley and Alfie and Samuel’. When prompted further he expanded and told me that ‘Alfie and Samuel held hands and then we all went down the slide together’.
He still attends nursery once a week on a Friday during term time. We have fallen into a lovely routine whereby I go to collect him at 6pm then walk over to the park across the road where Dan meets us on his way home from work. It’s such a lovely start to our weekends together and I love that on our walk over Oscar chats happily away about all of the activities he has gotten up to at nursery that day. It’s so nice hearing about all the things that he got up to that day directly from him.
Oscar still does not watch television, although I have resorted to finding Thomas the Tank clips on my phone for him to watch on the odd occasion during desperate poonami situations! Generally though, he is happy without the TV so the plan is to keep it that way for as long as we can.
His favourite things at the moment are reading books under the duvet in our bed, jumping off of the sofa, playing with his trains and dinosaurs and pretend play in general.
He received some new trains for his birthday, and when I turned a small box into a train tunnel he repeatedly pushed the trains through this tunnel for the best part of an hour and a half!
Oscar can often be found placing pretend food into the oven of his toy kitchen and serving up toy cakes for us to eat or getting busy with the washing up!
On Monday mornings Oscar has a half hour swimming lesson. Towards the end of last term he refused to take part, running along the outside of the pool every time the toddlers were asked to get out onto the side and jump back in. He gripped madly onto my neck and cried (without tears) every time the instructor or I tried to release his grip. With lots of encouragement and a few weekend trips to the pool with Dan and I he seems to have regained his confidence though and his favourite lessons are the ones are once more the ones where he is asked to jump in from the side or run along the top of a giant float on the water.
He spends time drawing every day. I used to be able to write out my to-do lists whilst sat at the breakfast table waiting for him to finish eating his breakfast in the morning, but this has now become impossible. As soon as Oscar spots a pen he’s asking for paper so that he may draw with it. Not content with just drawing letters, he now attempts to draw animals and will tell us what he is going to draw before putting pen to paper each time.
(These are stingrays in case you couldn’t tell!)
For a long while he would give Dan or I a pen and paper and ask us to draw something specific. ‘A blue train on the tracks’ or ‘a big cat by a dog’ but this has become less frequent just lately as he draws for himself. He has also begun to colour things in.
Here he chose to colour in all the ‘O’s.
Oscar attended the dentist with me for his first checkup at the start of the Summer holidays. He lay on my chest in the dentist chair and did everything that was asked for him – opening his mouth and putting his tongue to each side. The dentist told us that he has all but the back two teeth now and that his teeth were looking very healthy. I have started to notice some of his teeth cross over a little bit just recently though, and occasionally during meals Oscar will point to one of his teeth and say ‘food stuck there’, asking me to remove whatever has gotten stuck between his teeth.
Oscar did have a brief toddler tantrum stage, although only really tantrumed when tired. On those occasions things were very difficult. He would ask for a banana, but would have wanted to open it himself when you’d already done it, or you would break a piece of sandwich off for him to eat, only to discover that he had wanted to bite from the sandwich himself. Both actions are ones which cannot be undone, so not easily fixed! Generally though, you can reason with him and he is accepting of what you are asking him to do. We often lay and have chats together and I love that he is my mini best buddy right now.
Potty training is getting ever nearer. Oscar has been able to tell us for a while now when he needs changing, but recently he has started to tell us before he needs to go for a wee as well, with enough time that we can strip him down and hold him over the toilet. It don’t think it will be too much longer before we can begin looking to get him out of his nappies which will be nice.
I got an annual pass for West Lodge Farm Park earlier in the year and we have enjoyed lots of days out together. We even made our way to the farm to celebrate his birthday last week.
I had wanted to make Oscar a typical homemade Mum cake for his birthday, and so had great fun creating an octopus cake for his friends. Octopuses are one of his favourite animals at the moment after his obsession with aquatics and I thought it should be fairly easy to construct something that vaguely resembled an octopus. As long as Oscar realised it was an octopus, that’s all that would matter!
Since turning two Oscar has also moved up into the older room at nursery. Today was his second session in the older room and this has come with a lot of tears. Like me, Oscar doesn’t seem to be keen on change and as soon as his nursery drawstring bag came out this morning his eyes started to well up. He remained brave until we entered the room, when he gripped onto my neck and told me repeatedly that he wanted a cuddle. It breaks my heart leaving him, but I know that the nursery is doing him the world of good and that he enjoys himself so much when he is there. Perhaps if we had family nearby to relieve the pressure on me slightly, Dan and I wouldn’t have him in nursery at this age but by the time Friday rolls around each week I find myself really needing those few hours to myself to get on with all the jobs and things that I want to do but am unable to whilst Oscar is attached to my side.
Ultimately Oscar is growing into a really lovely little boy, one that I am so proud to call my son. He is never mean to other children, always friendly and happy and he speaks with as much consideration and care as can be asked from him at the age of two. I really do enjoy spending my time with him and hope that he also enjoys spending his time with me for many years to come.